While most students are going home or going on vacation this spring break, DeSales is sending many of its students to various cities around the United States and the world. These students are going for service, for athletics, for cultural enrichment, and for dance. Students on these trips generally do not view their spring breaks as lost, rather they view it as an alternate way to spend their week off. Sophomore Maggie McNichol is looking forward to her service trip to Washington D.C.
“This is the first time I'm doing something like this. I wanted to do something for other people rather than do for myself,” said McNichol. The trip to D.C. is one of five service trips for DeSales. In addition to the nation’s capital, students will be going to Lafayette, Louisiana, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Gladstone, Virginia, and Martin, Kentucky.
The trips to Louisiana and Oklahoma are for Habitat for Humanity while the Virginia trip is to the James River State Park to work with the American Hiking Association. The students will be building fire pits and setting up tarps for the park. Students in Kentucky will be helping with the Christian Appalachian Project, doing renovations on rundown homes occupied by less fortunate families. In Washington D.C., students will be helping children through the United Way and the Boys and Girls Club. There will be nine students on each trip, accompanied by an adviser, for a total of 45 students.
Jaime Gerhart, director of the Center for Service and Social Justice, thinks that there is a lot for the students to learn from going on these service trips.
“’Do what you can,’ and I think that's what they learn on these trips. They learn that they not necessarily can change the entire world, but they can help to change a community in a positive way and in turn change themselves in a positive way” said Gerhart.
While students on these trips are representing DeSales through service, student athletes will be representing DeSales on the field. The baseball team will be traveling to Texas, where they will be playing six games across the state, each against a different opponent. The lacrosse team heads to Clearwater, Florida, and the golf team will be going to Pinehurst, North Carolina. The softball team is heading to Orlando, Florida where they will be playing eight games against schools from around the country.
Dr. Christopher Cocozza, chair of the division of business, is taking two groups of students to Zurich, Salzburg, and Vienna: an undergraduate accounting regulations course and a special topics MBA course. Highlights of the trip will include a tour of Credit Suisse headquarters and a trip to the University of Vienna. The Student Life Office is also sponsoring a trip that features a tour of Scotland.
The dance department is going on a trip to the American College Dance Festival Association (ACDFA) at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. The festival is a major showcase for all things dance. Students can take classes, see shows, perform in shows, and get professional feedback from a variety of different instructors. Students have the opportunity to be exposed to different genres of dance as well as different styles of choreography. Angela Sigley, an assistant professor of dance, wants her students to learn as much as they can while on this trip.
“They'll get new perspectives and new ways to bring what they're learning into what they're doing here,” said Sigley. “I want them to absorb as much as they can and bring it back with them and use it somehow.”
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